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  • mill ends

    I have come into some mill ends from a local guitar shop and was wondering about them being a newbie at carving. They are about 2' thick and vary in length and width. They are Purpleheart, Walnut, Mahogany and Alder. I think I know some about the Walnut and Mahogany, hard but can be carved, don't think I want to tackle the Purpleheart at all. Don't know anything about the Alder even what kind it is, was told it was from out west. Any help?

  • #2
    Re: mill ends

    I suggest you use them for tool handles or trade them for carving wood.
    You should be able to carve all of it, but there are better ways to waste your time.

    Since I am way-out-in-the-wild-west, I will tell you about alder; it carves like butter when it is green, but is really tough when it dries.

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    • #3
      Re: mill ends

      I have carved in both Walnut and Mahogany. I like Magogany and leave it natural with just a protectant finish. Walnut harder but Carveable. Beautiful finish! I have not carved in Purpleheart or alder.
      Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

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      • #4
        Re: mill ends

        Here's my two cents worth ... keep the mill ends and buy some basswood ... that's if you do any kind of wood working other than carving ... if all you want to do is carve, follow Ricks advice and trade for some basswood, you should be able to get a good trade from a woodworker who wants the purpleheart and walnut for trim or accent pieces.

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        • #5
          Re: mill ends

          I carve a lot of mahogany and I'm getting used to a harder wood. It makes it really nice to go back to carving basswood. I've heard some scary things about the toxicity of purpleheart, so power carving should be done with great care. Walnut will challenge your carving tools if they're set for softer woods. If you're going to carve Santas or other caricatures, basswood is the way to go, since you don't care about showing grain if you're going to paint your carving.

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          • #6
            Re: mill ends

            I have to ask!
            What are mill ends?

            Donna
            Indiana USA&&http://pyrogite.tripod.com

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            • #7
              Re: mill ends

              Mill ends are short pieces of lumber, usually from a cabinet shop or other serious woodworking shop. I've been buying some big chunks, up to 3' thick and 12' wide, by 15' to 36' long, mostly mahogany. This is prime lumber for counter tops and other cabinet applications, so you know it's good stuff. I got some pine, cypress, teak and other exotic wood pieces this way. Most of my pieces have been planed both sides and some are jointed to clean up the sides. Great stuff for relief carvings and other ornamental carvings with natural wood finishes. Mike

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              • #8
                Re: mill ends

                I say carve on all of it so you can build an appreciation for basswood. Alder makes for a good night in front of the fireplace while you are carving.
                Cheers
                Ric

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